Severe storms can spark at any time during the year, but you can be ready before they hit your area with these tips in mind.
Being prepared before severe weather reaches your area can make a big difference in how you and your family handles the situation. First things first, check your forecast daily. This will help you understand whether there is severe weather heading for your area in the near future.
Little Rock, Ark., could see severe storms within 36 hours according to the Weather & Radar app.
Have at least three ways to receive a weather alert. Weather & Radar provides weather notifications to let you know if severe weather is possible in your area up to 36 hours in advance.
Next, know the difference between a watch and a warning. A good way to remember this is by thinking of a watch as the ingredients of a meal. They are all there and ready to be assembled, but the meal isn’t ready to be eaten. A watch is issued when the ingredients for a severe thunderstorm or tornado are in place, but they have not yet come together to create one.
A warning means a severe thunderstorm or tornado has formed. A warning can be thought of as the prepared meal and no other prep is needed. All ingredients have come together, and it is ready to eat.
Thirdly, come up with, review, and practice an emergency plan with your family and even your neighbors if needed. Know where you would shelter during a severe weather event, have a meeting place set, and include your pets.
If you plan to shelter in your home or office, plan to go to a sturdy lower-level interior area and have as many walls as possible between you and the outdoors. Stay away from windows and doors. Mobile or manufactured homes are not safe shelters and can easily be heavily damaged during a severe event.
If your plan includes going to an offsite shelter, make sure you are near it or there when a watch has been issued. If a warning is issued, it is likely too late to make it to that shelter. Bring an emergency kit of important documents, prescriptions, cell phone chargers, etc., with you when you go to the shelter.
Next, keep your home and yard tidy. Severe weather often includes gusty winds that can pick up anything loose outdoors. Secure these items and keep limbs and branches of trees around your home trimmed.
Loose items can quickly become dangerous flying objects that could hurt you or others around the outside of your home. If a storm is headed your way, close windows and doors and bring in any valuable items from outdoors.
Finally, before severe weather hits, review your insurance policy. Typically, homeowners’ and renters’ insurance covers wind, hail, fire, and lightning damage, but it doesn’t hurt to review your policy and ask important questions about how to file a claim before severe storms hit.
Follow this quick guide below to prepare.
Weather & Radar meteorologists are always keeping track of the severe weather possibilities and update forecast articles frequently to keep you in the know all year long.